State

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Bioethics in Law & Culture                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Spring  2021      vol.  4  issue  2

 

 

A summary of state legislation - January 1, 2021 to  March 31, 2021

Joe Kral, M.A.

 

Alabama:

Born Alive Infant Protection Act:

March 18, 2021 – The Alabama House passed HB 237, a Born Alive Infant Protection Act, 76-12. The bill mandates that a child born from either an abortion or an abortion attempt must be given the appropriate medical care at the time of his/her birth; otherwise, the abortionist can face penalties for failing to provide appropriate care. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

 

Arizona:

Eugenic Abortions:

February 4, 2021 – The Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 1457, a bill that prohibits the intentional abortion of unborn children that may have a genetic abnormality. The bill now moves to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

March 4, 2021 – The Arizona Senate passed SB 1457. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

 

March 17, 2021 – The Arizona House Judiciary Committee passed SB 1457, 6-4. The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

 

Arkansas:

18 Week Abortion Ban:

January 5, 2021 – The US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Arkansas law prohibiting an abortionist from performing an abortion on a pregnant woman who is 18 weeks gestation or beyond.

 

Abortion Ban:

February 10, 2021 – The Arkansas Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee passed SB 6 (Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act). The bill would prohibit all abortions except to save the life of the mother; it would not charge the mother with a crime. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

February 22, 2021 – The Arkansas Senate passed SB 6, 27-7. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

 

March 2, 2021 – The Arkansas House Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee passed SB 6. The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

March 3, 2021 – The Arkansas House passed SB 6, 75-18. The bill now proceeds to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

March 9, 2021 – Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed SB 6 into law.

 

Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act:

March 16, 2021 – The Arkansas House Health, Welfare, & Labor Committee passed HB 1572. If enacted, the law would provide information to the mother that would let her know that the process of the medical abortion can be stopped if done by a certain time, thereby saving the life of her unborn child. The bill proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

March 18, 2021 – The Arkansas House passed HB 1572, 76-15. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

Abortion Pill Regulation:

March 29, 2021 – The Arkansas Senate passed HB 1402, 26-6. The bill mandates certain safety protocols remain in place regardless if federal protocols are repealed. The bill now proceeds to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

Conscience Protections (Abortion):

March 26, 2021 – Governor Asa Hutchinson signed SB 289 into law. It prohibits the forcing of medical professionals to perform procedures such as abortion if those procedures violate their conscience.

 

Dismemberment Abortion Ban:

January 6, 2021 – US District Court Judge Kristine Baker continued her injunction of the Dismemberment Abortion Ban pending trial.

 

Eugenic Abortions:

January 5, 2021 – The US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Arkansas law that prohibits an abortionist from performing an abortion on a pregnant woman who is knowingly aborting her unborn child because the child has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

 

Informed Consent (Hotline Number):

February 2, 2021 – The Arkansas House passes pro-life HB 1195 (Every Mom Matters Act), 75-13, which would require pregnant mothers to call a number (prior to an abortion) that would inform them of both public & private resources available to her. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

February 3, 2021 – The Arkansas Senate Public Health Committee passed HB 1195. The bill now moves to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

February 4, 2021 – The Arkansas Senate passed HB 1195. The measure now moves to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

Rape & Incest Reporting Requirement:

March 18, 2021 – The Arkansas Senate passed SB 463 that would require pregnant mothers who are 20 weeks pregnant who are victims of rape or incest and want to acquire an abortion to have first reported the crime with the proper authorities. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

 

Sex-Selection Abortion Ban:

January 6, 2021 – US District Court Judge Kristine Baker continued her injunction of the Sex-Selection Abortion Ban pending trial.

 

Ultrasound Bill:

March 8, 2021 – The Arkansas Senate passed SB 85, 29-6. The bill mandates that an ultrasound image be offered to the pregnant mother in addition to a medically accurate description of her unborn child. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

 

March 22, 2021 – The Arkansas House passed SB 85. The bill now proceeds to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

 

Connecticut:

Assisted Suicide:

March 10, 2021 – The Connecticut House Public Health Committee passed HB 6425, 24-9. This bill would legalize assisted suicide in the state for those with less than six months to live with a physician's prescription. The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

Pro-Life Pregnancy Center Restrictions:

February 22, 2021 – The Connecticut House Public Health Committee passed SB 835, 19-12. The bill aims to prohibit pro-life pregnancy centers from "deceptive" advertising; however, it is not clear what is meant by that term. The bill now moves to the House Floor for consideration.

 

 

Florida:

Eugenic Abortion Ban:

March 11, 2021 – The Florida House Professions & Public Health Subcommittee passed HB 1221, 11-7. The bill prohibits the intentional abortion on unborn children who may have a genetic abnormality. The bill now proceeds to the full committee for consideration.

 

 

Guam:

TeleMed Abortions:

March 5, 2021 – The ACLU and the Guam Attorney General have reached an agreement that will allow Telemed abortions to occur in the US Territory. The ACLU is also challenging the in-physician requirement as well regarding the dispensing of the abortion pill.

 

 

Hawaii:

Non-Physicians Performing Abortions:

February 18, 2021 – The House Consumer Protection Committee passed HB 576, allowing nurse practitioners to perform suction abortions. The bill now moves to the House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee for consideration.

 

March 4, 2021 – The House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee passed HB 576. The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

 

Idaho:

Defunding Abortion:

February 26, 2021 – The Idaho House State Affairs Committee passed HB 220, 10-4, which would prohibit the funding of organizations that provide, assist, or counsel a woman into getting an abortion. The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

March 2, 2021 – The Idaho House passed HB 220, 55-14. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

Fetal Heartbeat Bill:

March 18, 2021 – The Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee passed a Fetal Heartbeat Bill, SB 1183. The bill, if enacted, would prohibit abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detectable, usually six weeks gestation. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

 

Indiana:

Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act:

February 16, 2021 – The Indiana House Public Health Committee passed HB 1577, an Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act. If enacted, the law would provide information to the mother that would let her know that the process of the medical abortion can be stopped if done by a certain time, thereby saving the life of her unborn child. The bill proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

February 22, 2021 – The Indiana House passed HB 1577, 67-29. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

March 31, 2021 – The Indiana Senate Health Committee passed HB 1577, 7-4. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

Parental Consent:

March 12, 2021 – The US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Indiana's Parental Consent Law was unconstitutional. The law required minor girls under 18 to receive consent from a parent or legal guardian to obtain an abortion. It would also require that the parent or legal guardian receive notice if the child receives a judicial bypass unless the judge determines such notification is not in the child's best interests.

 

Ultrasound Law:

January 1, 2021 – Indiana's 18-hour ultrasound law came back into effect after a series of court fights. The law was initially blocked in 2017 by a federal district judge, and the ruling was upheld by a federal appeals court. The US Supreme Court vacated that decision and sent the case back to the lower court for consideration. The suit was then later dropped. The law mandates that a woman be provided the opportunity to view an ultrasound of her unborn child at least 18 hours before her abortion.

 

 

Iowa:

Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act:

January 25, 2021 – The Iowa House Human Services Subcommittee passed HF 53, 2-1. The bill mandates that women be given information before the dispensation of the abortion pill that states that the process can be reversed if caught in enough time. The bill now moves to the full House Human Services Committee for consideration.

 

February 2, 2021 – The House Human Services Committee passed HF 53, 11-6. The bill now moves to the House Floor for consideration.

 

No Right to Abortion Amendment:

January 19, 2021 – The Iowa House Judiciary Subcommittee passed HSB 41 (HJR 5), which, if passed by the legislature and approved by the voters, would amend the Iowa Constitution to recognize that there is no right to abortion. The bill now moves to the full committee for consideration.

 

January 20, 2021 – The Iowa House Judiciary Committee passed HJR 5. The measure now moves to the House Floor for consideration.

 

January 27, 2021 – The Iowa House passed HJR 5, 55-44. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

February 10, 2021 – The Iowa Senate Government Committee passed SJR 2, the companion to HJR 5. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

 

Kansas:

No Right to Abortion Amendment (Value Them Both):

January 19, 2021 – The Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee passed the "Value Them Both" Amendment, which would amend the state constitution to recognize that there is no right to abortion. The measure now heads to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

January 28, 2021 – The Kansas Senate passed the “Value Them Both Amendment," 28-11. It reached the necessary two-thirds vote necessary to put the proposed amendment on the 2022 ballot.

 

 

Kentucky:

Abortion Clinic Regulation:

January 6, 2021 – The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee passed pro-life HB 2, 14-4. The bill, if enacted, would mandate that the state attorney general can hold abortion clinics accountable for failing to meet basic health standards. The bill now moves to the House Floor for consideration.

 

January 9, 2021 – The Kentucky Senate passed HB 2, 30-5. The measure now heads to Governor Andy Beshear’s desk, where he can either sign or veto the bill.

 

January 19, 2021 – Governor Andy Beshear has vetoed HB 2.

 

February 2, 2021 – The Kansas Legislature has voted to override Governor Andy Beshear’s veto.

 

Born Alive Infant Protection Act:

January 9, 2021 – The Kentucky House passed SB 9, 76-18, which would mandate that a child born from either an abortion or an abortion attempt must be given the appropriate medical care at the time of his/her birth; otherwise, the abortionist can face penalties for failing to provide appropriate care. The measure now heads to Governor Andy Beshear’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

January 22, 2021 – Governor Andy Beshear allowed SB 9 to become law without signing the bill. The deadline has passed for him to sign it. Since he did not sign it, the bill becomes law.

 

No Right to Abortion Amendment:

March 16, 2021 – The Kentucky Senate State & Local Government Committee passed HB 91, 9-1. If eventually passed by the Senate and the Kentucky voters, the bill would amend the state constitution to recognize that there is no right to abortion or that there is a right to funding abortion. The bill now proceeds to the full Senate for consideration.

 

March 30, 2021 – The Kentucky Senate passed HB 91, 32-6. The voters must now approve the amendment on the November 2022 ballot for HB 91 to officially become a part of the state constitution.

 

 

Ohio:

Fetal Disposition Law:

March 10, 2021 – The ACLU filed a motion to block Ohio’s Humane Fetal Disposition Law. The law requires that the remains of unborn children killed by abortion be buried or cremated.

 

March 11, 2021 – Ohio Common Pleas Court Judge Alison Hatheway refused to temporarily enjoin the law, which is scheduled to take effect on April 6.

 

Fetal Heartbeat Law:

March 3, 2021 – US District Court Judge Michael Barrett extended his temporary injunction of the Fetal Heartbeat Law while postponing his final ruling. 

 

TeleMed Abortion Ban:

January 9, 2021 – Governor Mike DeWine signed the TeleMedicine Abortion Ban Act into law. The law would prohibit a doctor from prescribing and dispensing abortion drugs to a pregnant mother via teleconference or video conference.

 

 

Oklahoma:

Fetal Heartbeat Bill:

February 24, 2021 – The Oklahoma House State Rights Committee passed a Fetal Heartbeat Bill, 5-1. The bill would mandate that once a fetal heartbeat is detectable (around six weeks gestation), abortion would be illegal. The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

March 9, 2021 – The Oklahoma House passed HB 2441. The bill, if enacted, would prohibit abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detectable, usually around six weeks gestation. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

March 29, 2021 – The Oklahoma Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed HB 2441. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

Physician Only Requirement:

March 2, 2021 – The Oklahoma House passed HB 1904. The bill mandates that only licensed OB/Gyn’s can perform abortions within the state. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

March 29, 2021 – The Oklahoma Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed HB 1904. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

 

Montana:

Abortion Coverage (Insurance Prohibition):

February 3, 2021 – The Montana House passed HB 229, 66-34. The bill would mandate that no health insurance policy sold on the Affordable Care Act can cover abortion. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

Assisted Suicide:

March 1, 2021 – The Montana Senate defeated, 25-25, a bill that would have prohibited physicians from performing assisted suicide. In 2009 the state supreme court ruled that the practice was constitutional. It is possible the bill was filed to challenge that ruling.

 

Born Alive Infant Protection Act:

January 20, 2021 – The Montana House Judiciary Committee passed HB 167, which is a referendum. If passed by the Legislature and by the voters, the referendum would require that any child born alive from an abortion is a legal person. The bill now moves to the House Floor for consideration.

 

January 26, 2021 – The Montana House passed HB 167. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

February 9, 2021 – The Montana Senate Judiciary passed HB 167. The bill now moves to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

February 26, 2021 – The Montana Senate passed HB 167. The bill now moves to Governor Greg Gianforte’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

Late-Term Abortion Ban (20 Weeks):

January 20, 2021 – The Montana House Judiciary Committee passed HB 136. If passed, it would prohibit the abortion of an unborn child who is 20 weeks gestation or beyond. The bill now heads to the House Floor for consideration.

 

January 26, 2021 – The Montana House passed HB 136. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

February 9, 2021 – The Montana Senate Judiciary passed HB 136. The bill now moves to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

February 26, 2021 – The Montana Senate passed HB 136. The bill now moves to Governor Greg Gianforte’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

Personhood Amendment:

March 2, 2021 – The Montana House Judiciary Committee passed HB 337. If passed by a two-thirds majority of the legislature, the bill would then be put on a ballot for the voters as an amendment to the state constitution. It would amend the constitution recognizing that personhood begins at fertilization. The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

March 18, 2021 – The Montana House passed HB 337, 67-33. The bill must now pass a second vote before proceeding to the Senate.

 

TeleMed Abortion Ban:

January 20, 2021 – The Montana House Judiciary Committee passed HB 171. If passed into law, it would prohibit the dispensing of abortion pills via telemedicine practices. The bill now moves to the House Floor for consideration.

 

January 26, 2021 – The Montana House passed HB 171. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

February 9, 2021 – The Montana Senate Judiciary passed HB 171. The bill now moves to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

February 26, 2021 – The Montana Senate passed HB 171. The bill now moves to Governor Greg Gianforte’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

Ultrasound Requirement:

January 20, 2021 – The Montana House Judiciary Committee passed HB 140. If passed into law, it would require the abortionist to provide the pregnant mother the opportunity to see the ultrasound of her unborn child and to hear the heartbeat as well. The bill now moves to the House Floor for consideration.

 

January 26, 2021 – The Montana House passed HB 140. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

February 9, 2021 – The Montana Senate Judiciary passed HB 140. The bill now moves to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

February 26, 2021 – The Montana Senate passed HB 140. The bill now moves to Governor Greg Gianforte’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

 

 CONTINUED